Warning: The U.S. Surgeon General has determined that following the 2021 Boston Red Sox may cause severe whiplash.
Swept in most ignominious fashion by the lowly Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, it seemed like the Red Sox were in danger of irrelevancy in the first week of play. If they were so awful against the rebuilding (and not so subtly, tanking) O's, what would happen to them when the Tampa Bay Rays got to town Monday?
The Rays, the defending American League champions. The Rays, winners of eight straight at Fenway and 12 of their last 13. The Rays, owners of a seemingly bottomless pitching staff of hard-throwers.
So naturally, the Red Sox did the sweeping, taking three in a row from Tampa, with two of them not at all competitive. So naturally, the Red Sox outscored the Rays 26-9 in the sweep. So naturally, the same team which looked so hapless only a few days ago now looks like a powerhouse.
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, of course. The Sox are neither good enough to dominate a quality team like the Rays, nor bad enough to be outclassed by a team as bad as the Orioles. (On the latter, we won't have to wait long to see: the Sox begin a three-game series in Camden Yards on Thursday afternoon).
Since Monday, you could almost chart the upswing of confidence the Sox now seem to feel.